SEPTEMBER 2019 | Volume 183


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Take d Milk, Nah?
by Jivesh Parasram
Pandemic Theatre & Rumble Theatre
Presented with Diwali in BC in association with Neworld Theatre
The Cultch Vancity Culture Lab
Oct. 16-26
$35 or 604-251-1363

Jivesh Parasram brings a hilarious solo show, about his Indo-Caribbean heritage, to the Vancity Culture Lab as part of Diwali in BC's 2019 season!

The Cultch is thrilled to partner with Diwali in BC to present Pandemic Theatre and Rumble Theatre's Take D Milk, Nah?, presented in association with Neworld Theatre, October 16-26, 2019.

"Hi. I'm Jiv. Thanks for coming to my Identity play...This is the story of how I once birthed a cow... kinda"

Jiv is "Canadian." And "Indian." And "Hindu." And "West Indian." "Trinidadian" too. Or maybe he's just colonized. In Take d Milk, Nah?,Jivesh Parasram blends personal storytelling and ritual to walk the audience through the Hin-do's and Hin-don'ts at the intersections of these cultures. What initially unfolds onstage will look very like what has become a bit of a staple on Canadian stages—an identity play, as Parasram invites audiences into some of the funny and heartfelt moments of his life, including the time he once tried to birth a cow. "It's the first Indo-Caribbean Canadian identity play, as far as we know, ever done," but, says Parasram, "it's also a massive attempt to destroy the idea of an identity play." 

Playwright and performer Jivesh Parasramis the winner of the 2018 Toronto Arts Foundation Emerging Artist Award, one of the founding Artistic Producers of Pandemic Theatre (Toronto), and, as of October 2018, the new Artistic Director of award-winning Vancouver company Rumble Theatre. His current cultural practice centres decolonization through aesthetics, and Take d Milk, Nah? was born out of the desire to straddle the line between expressing identity and exploring the shortcomings of that colonial desire. "In some ways, it's an adaptation of a Yagna, a type of ritual sacrifice; in this case loosely based on the story of the Sumadra Manthan (the churning of the ocean of milk)—but in the Caribbean style that I grew up with—it's a very animated way of storytelling," says Parasram. "What makes it current is that really about where identity is important, and where it's an illusion distracting from actual progress."Take d Milk, Nah? was nominated for a Dora Mayor Moore Award for Outstanding New Play in 2018. It is a candid and funny look at race, religion, and nationalism(s): what divides us—and what we're willing to accept in the desire to belong. 

"It doesn't matter who you are, or where you've come from, Take d Milk, Nah? is a must-see experience."—Toronto Caribbean

"You don't want to miss Parasram's show." — Mooney on Theatre

"[Parasram] is a gifted and endlessly watchable performer whose affable delivery and well-crafted stories generate frequent and sustained laughs, but he is also able to instantaneously deadpan to emphasize very serious points."— NOW Toronto

Written & Performed by Jivesh Parasram
Co-Created by Jivesh ParasramTom Arthur Davis, & Graham Isador
Directed by Tom Arthur Davis
Assistant Directed by Graham Isador
Dramaturgy by Graham Isador & Tom Arthur Davis
Set & Costume Design by Anahita Dehbonehie
Lighting Design by Rebecca Vandevelde
Stage Manager Heather Bellingham 

WHEN: OCT 16–26, 2019
Oct 16, 7:30PM: Preview
Oct 17, 7:30PM: Opening
Oct 18-19, 22-26, 7:30PM
Oct 20, 2PM

Two shows added due to popular demand! Oct 19 & 26, 2PM

Post-show Artist Talkbacks: Oct 20, 22

WHERE: Vancity Culture Lab, 1895 Venables St.

TICKETS: All tickets $35. Single tickets on sale now through The Cultch's Box Office: 604-251-1363 or

Diwali in BC is honoured to have its home on the unceded territories of the Coast Salish people of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm, Skwxwú7mesh, and Səl̓ílwətaɬ Nations. Diwali in BC, which falls under the Raghupriya Arts and Culture Society, is a new initiative founded, in 2017, and produced by Rohit Chokhani. After producing and curating numerous Diwali celebrations over Metro Vancouver for the last four years, culminating in a Jessie Richardson theatre award, Rohit is embarking on this new, bold, and ambitious initiative to make the Diwali Celebrations province-wide over the next five years. Diwali in BC is an annual multicultural, multi-disciplinary, inclusive festival that aims to showcase artists from diverse backgrounds and different abilities to celebrate the festival of lights during the annual Indian New Year.

Founded in 2009, Pandemic Theatre is a performing arts collective based out of T'karonto (Toronto). Run under the joint leadership of JiveshParasram (Artistic Producer) and Tom Arthur Davis (Artistic Director), Pandemic is mandated to create, develop, and produce work from critical and underrepresented perspectives that engage social and political themes.

The name "Pandemic" was adopted to speak to the aim of the company to create work that is simultaneously dangerous – from the contemporary widespread bio-hazard connotations of the name – and also, in essence, work that responds to issues that effect and affect the larger common public.

At Rumble Theatre we believe in creating a more compassionate world through the communal sharing of stories. We explore our history through commissioning and producing new adaptations of outstanding narratives, we investigate the present moment through producing contemporary plays from the Canadian and world repertoire, and we act as champions of Vancouver's emerging artists to ensure a vital future. We believe that the theatre can be a place where community is built: a place where we can gather together to gain a deeper understanding of ourselves, and greater empathy for our neighbours.

Since 1973, The Cultch (formally the Vancouver East Cultural Centre) has been one of Vancouver's most diverse and innovative arts and cultural hubs. The organization operates three theatrical venues, a gallery, and various ancillary spaces in the heart of East Vancouver. The Cultch offers dynamic contemporary programming in theatre, dance, music, and the visual arts, bringing world-class cultural presentations to thousands of citizens each year through its own programming and through providing rental opportunities for community users. Our purpose is to provide a venue for performance that serves a diverse and engaged public and provides space for artistic experimentation and development, building an audience for local companies and presenting cutting-edge national and international work.



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